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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Common Application is Open for Business

The Common Application, accepted by nearly 560 colleges, went live on August 1. The website has a brand new look and there are a few noticeable changes:
  • Not all member colleges require the Common App essay. After a student selects colleges, a list appears indicating whether or not the essay is required.
  • The dashboard now clearly shows if a college has writing supplements (Yay! These supplemental essays have been "hidden" before, making it hard to determine if there were additional writing requirements).
  • There is now a "preview button" at the bottom of each page giving users a pdf that can be printed, but only after all questions on the page have been answered. 
  • There have been some changes to the essay questions.
Students can get started on the Common Application now and continue entering information as they are able. It can not be submitted until every section is complete, so no worries that a college will "accidentally" get an incomplete application.

Here are a few tips as you get started:
  • on a PC, current versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE 10 (or higher) are supported. On a Mac, current versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari 8 (or higher) are supported.
  • make sure your pop-up blockers are disabled and your cookies and Javascript are enabled.
  • you may want to read the terms of use to and the privacy policy, which gives a lot of information about what happens to your information if you "opt-in" or "opt-out".
Some colleges offer their own application in addition to the Common Application. Choose whichever one is easiest for you (no need to fill out both). Colleges may not show preference for one application form over another.